TOLEDANO


TOLEDANO, family of rabbis and ḥakhamim which originated in Toledo, *Spain. After the expulsion from Spain in 1492, the Toledanos were to be found in Safed, Salonika, and Morocco. According to a family tradition, they arrived in Fez during the 16th century from Salonika, and from there went to Meknès and became leaders of the community from the 16th century until the present day. They were prominent in the community in religious affairs, producing renowned rabbis and poets who enriched the literature of Moroccan Jewry with their works and greatly influenced the western communities, particularly those of Meknès, Salé, Tangier, and even Gibraltar; in political affairs, producing men who served as ministers and counselors to kings and were entrusted with diplomatic missions; and in economic affairs, producing outstanding merchants who developed and maintained varied commercial relations with European countries which contributed to the economic progress of Morocco.

(1) DANIEL BEN JOSEPH (c. 1570–1640) arrived in Fez from Salonika with his sons (2) ḤAYYIM and (3) JOSEPH, from whom the two principal lines of the family branched out. He is described in sources as the "head of the yeshivah of Fez" and as the "head of the Castilian scholars."

(2) Ḥayyim's sons were (4) ḤABIB (d. c. 1660) and (5) DANIEL (1600–1670?). The former was rabbi and nagid in Meknès and was referred to as He-Ḥasid ("the Pious"). He was a signatory to a takkanah of 1640, whose efficacy he strengthened by securing for it a royal order. The latter was a rabbi and legal authority in Meknès. (3) Joseph's sons were (6) DANIEL (d. c. 1680) and (7) BARUCH (d. 1685). The former was a rabbi and dayyan in Meknès and counselor of Moulay Ismā ʾ il together with his colleague Joseph *Maymeran. He fought Shabbateanism with R. Aaron ha-Sabʿuni and his sonin-law R. Jacob *Sasportas, and he signed legal decisions together with (9) R. Hayyim b. Habib (see below). Baruch (7) was a rabbi in Meknès, father of seven sons, including (8) MOSES, the father of four ḥakhamim. Among Baruch's other sons were (16) Ḥayyim and (17) Abraham, leading merchants who traded with the royal family.

(9) ḤAYYIM BEN ḤABIB HE-ḤASID (d. c. 1680), rabbi and kabbalist, copied kabbalistic and ethical works, including Yeraḥ Yakar of R. Abraham Galanté which was brought to him by the emissary Elisha Ashkenazi – the father of Nathan of Gaza – and Sha'arei Ḥokhmah of an Ashkenazi author, thus contributing to their circulation in the West. It is almost certain that he fought the Shabbatean movement, as did his relative Daniel, with whom he shared the position of dayyan. He maintained contact with R. Aaron ha-Sabʿuni and copied the marginal notes of the latter's copy of the Shulḥan Arukh. One of his daughters married R. Abraham Berdugo and was the mother of R. Moses Berdugo ("ha-MaSHBIR"), and the other married R. (8) Moses b. Baruch (see above) and gave birth to R. (18) Ḥayyim ("MaHaRḤaT") and R. (21) Jacob Toledano ("MaHaRIT"). Ḥayyim (9) signed legal decisions together with his relative Daniel. His son (10) MOSES (1643–1723) was the leading rabbi of Meknès and corresponded on halakhic questions with R. Menahem *Serero, R. Vidal ha-*Sarfati, and others. Some of his responsa and legal decisions were published in the works of Moroccan ḥakhamim. He held rabbinical office together with his brother (11) ḤABIB (1658–1716). The latter corresponded extensively with the ḥakhamim of Fez. R. Judah (1660–1729), a scholar of Meknès, was known as a great talmudist.

(12) JOSEPH TOLEDANO BEN DANIEL(b) (d. c. 1700) was also a counselor of the Moroccan king Moulay Ismāʾil, who sought to develop foreign trade and exchange Christian captives for arms as well as for other goods. He sent Joseph to the Netherlands to conduct negotiations which would lead to a peace treaty and a commercial agreement between the two countries. His mission was successful and the treaty was ratified in 1683. In 1688 Joseph presented his credentials as Moroccan ambassador to the States General. The presence in Holland of his brother-in-law Jacob Sasportas obviously assisted him in the fulfillment of his mission. His brother (13) ḤAYYIM TOLEDANO (d. c. 1710), also a royal counselor, accompanied him on the mission. Once the treaty was ratified in the Netherlands, he returned to Meknès and together with the nagid Abraham Maymeran convinced the king to accept its conditions

Toledano

and sign. In 1690, when a crisis between the two countries appeared imminent, he traveled to the Netherlands and succeeded in renewing the treaty, afterward convincing the king to accept the conditions of the treaty. (14) MOSES TOLEDANO (d. c. 1725) was one of the favorites at the court. Together with the nagid Abraham Maymeran, he traded with the European countries, especially in firearms. In 1699 he traveled to the Netherlands and submitted complaints to the States General concerning his dealings with them. He won his suit and was awarded considerable compensation.

(15) DANIEL TOLEDANO (d. c. 1740), son of (13) Ḥayyim, traded, together with his father, in the Netherlands and other European countries. He dealt mainly in wax and was known as "one of the country's magnates." In about 1720, after the death of his father, he was arrested by the king. The king confiscated his family's belongings in payment for his debt, including (18) R. Ḥayyim Toledano's property, thus bankrupting him. (16) ḤAYYIM TOLEDANO BEN BARUCH (d. c. 1715), a wealthy merchant, was associated with his brother (17) ABRAHAM in various business transactions and was a favorite of the royal family. He died childless and bequeathed his estate to (18) R. Ḥayyim (MaHaRḤaT; see below), the son of his brother (8) Moses. (19) ELIEZER TOLEDANO BEN R. JUDAH (d. c. 1730) was among the wealthiest Moroccan merchants and a member of the circle of negidim which included Abraham Maymeran and Moses ibn Attar. Together with Maimon Toledano, he leased the meat tax of the community. He was the father of (20) R. Solomon (MaHaRShaT; see below). (18) ḤAYYIM TOLEDANO BEN MOSES BEN BARUCH (MaHaRḤaT; 1690–1750), rabbi in Meknès, became wealthy after he inherited his uncle Ḥayyim's fortune. He wrote some legal decisions which were published in Fez under the title Ḥok u-Mishpat ("Law and Judgment," 1931).

His brother (21) R. JACOB TOLEDANO (MaHaRIT; 1697– 1771) was a prominent rabbi in Meknès and a disciple of R. Moses Berdugo, holding rabbinical office for 50 years. He was the most important halakhic authority in the Maghreb during the second half of the 18th century and played a central role in the leadership of his community. A crisis occurred in the relations between himself and his community in 1764, but the difficulties were settled and he continued to serve the community. He wrote a commentary on the Torah, a commentary to Rashi on the Torah, a work on the Shulḥan Arukh, novellae on the Talmud, legal decisions, some of which were published in the works of Moroccan ḥakhamim, and sermons. Another brother, (22) AARON TOLEDANO (d. c. 1785), was rabbi in Meknès. Toward the end of his life he left for Tangier, where he was appointed rabbi. His son (23) R. ABRAHAM TOLEDANO (d. c. 1820) was rabbi in Tangier after his father's death.

(24) R. ḤAYYIM BEN R. JUDAH (1703–1783), renowned for his piety, was rabbi in Salé. He was a disciple of R. Moses Berdugo and wrote legal decisions (Teshuvot MaHaRḤat shel Salé), kinot, and piyyutim. His nephew (20) R. SOLOMON BEN ELIEZER (MaHaRShaT; d. 1809) was a leading rabbi in Meknès and a member of the bet din of (21) R. Jacob b. Moses (MaHaRIT). He is said to have performed miracles, and to the present day the sick prostrate themselves and pray at his tomb. He wrote a work of legal decisions entitled Piskei MaHaRShat. His cousin (25) MOSES BEN DANIEL (d. 1773) was a disciple of the brothers (18) R. Ḥayyim and (21) R. Jacob Toledano (see above). From 1769 he was a member of the bet din of the MaHaRIT (21). He left many works on the Torah which his son-in-law (34) R. MEIR TOLEDANO edited, summarized, and published as Melekhet ha-Kodesh (Leghorn, 1803). His legal decisions were published as Ha-Shamayim ha-Ḥadashim.

(26) R. BARUCH TOLEDANO (1738–1817), son of Ma-HaRIT, was appointed dayyan after the death of his father. The opponent of R. Raphael Berdugo he wrote legal decisions and responsa. His son (?), (27) R. SOLOMON TOLEDANO (c. 1770–1840), was rabbi in Meknès. Many of his legal decisions were published in the work Shufrei de-Ya'akov of R. Jacob Berdugo. (28) R. MOSES TOLEDANO (d. 1778), son of MaHaRIT, was rabbi in Meknès. He wrote Meginnei Shelomo, on Rashi's commentary to the Torah, as well as sermons. His son (29), R. JOSEPH, collected, arranged, and copied the writings of his grandfather (MaHaRIT). (30) R. ḤAYYIM BEN R. JOSEPH (d. 1848), rabbi in Meknès, was very active in the community's administration. In Iyyar 5608 (1848) he was arrested by the sherif (ruler) – as a result of a denunciation – together with his colleague R. Joseph Berdugo and ten of the community's leaders. About two months later he died in the prison of Fez. He wrote a brief commentary on the Torah, legal decisions, responsa, a work on the Tur Shulḥan Arukh, a commentary on the Haggadah, and a collection of letters and writings.

(31) R. ḤABIB TOLEDANO BEN ELIEZER (c. 1800–1870) was brought up in Meknès. Prior to 1825 he traveled to Gibraltar, where he collected funds to save the members of his community from the famine which then ravaged Morocco. From there he went to Tunis and Italy, where he published his commentary on the Haggadah, Peh Yesharim (Leghorn, 1834), and Terumat ha-Kodesh (Leghorn, 1842). R. JACOB TOLEDANO BEN MOSES (d. c. 1928) was a rabbinical authority in Meknès and a poet. His piyyutim and poems were published as Yagel Ya'akov (in: Yismaḥ Yisrael, 1931). (32) R. RAPHAEL BARUCH BEN JACOB (1892–1971) was rabbi in Meknès. After his father's death he was appointed to the bet din, and from about 1940 he was av bet din of Meknès. He was very active in community affairs, and founded yeshivot. He immigrated to Israel in 1965. Toledano wrote a summarized version of the complete Shulḥan Arukh (1966), as well as a number of poems and piyyutim, some of which are recited by Oriental communities and Sephardim. Rabbi Jacob Moses *Toledano was also a member of the family.

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

J.M. Toledano, Ner ha-Ma'arav (1911); J. Ben-Naim, Malkhei Rabbanan (1931); Hirschberg, Afrikah, index; idem, in: H.J. Zimmels et al. (eds.), Essays Presented to Chief Rabbi Israel Brodie… (1967), 153–82.

[Haim Bentov]


Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.